NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR THURSDAY - 9.15.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Sep 15, 2016

Accounting and Financial News Stories

Expert: IRS Audits Disproportionately Target Small Businesses
The Washington Free Beacon
The IRS disproportionately targets small companies for audits, burdening them with extra costs and stealing time that they need to do business, according to an expert who testified at a Small Business Committee hearing Wednesday. Donald Williamson, executive director of the Kogod Tax Policy Center at American University, says the IRS does this because small businesses receive most of their income in cash, which can be difficult to identify and report.

Impeachment Vote on IRS Head Delayed by Deal to Hold Hearing
Bloomberg Politics
Conservative Republicans backed off their demands for an immediate vote on impeaching Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen after U.S. House leaders promised to hold a Judiciary Committee hearing. The sponsors of the resolution, Representative John Fleming of Louisiana and other members of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, said they abandoned their plan to force a vote on Thursday.

IRS Relents on Double Mortgage Interest Deduction for Unmarried Couples
AccountingWEB
Married homeowners will gripe and unmarried ones will gloat, but the IRS is going along with an appellate court ruling that allowed two unmarried co-owners who live together to each deduct the mortgage interest on $1.1 million of acquisition and home equity debt – double what married homeowners can deduct.  In Sophy v. Commissioner, the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that the home mortgage interest limitation applies per each taxpayer, not per residence.

Same Sex Marriage Defined by IRS
The National Law Review
Just before Labor Day weekend, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final regulations amending the definitions of “marriage” and “husband and wife” in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which legalized same-sex marriage, and the Windsor v. U.S. decision, which struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The proposed regulations, issued in October 2015, were followed by several comments and a request for a public hearing.

IRS Allows Self-Certification For Waiver of 60-Day Rollover Requirement
JD Supra Business Advisor
On August 24th, the IRS released guidance that permits an automatic waiver of the sixty-day rollover period for retirement plan distributions by allowing individuals to self-certify that they qualify for the waiver under any of 11 common circumstances. The guidance also contains a model waiver template. Retirement plan administrators and IRA trustees can rely on an individual’s certification unless the plan administrator/IRA trustee has actual knowledge that is contrary to the self-certification.

'Big Four' Firm KPMG Talks New Blockchain Services Suite
CoinDesk
Global accounting firm KPMG yesterday launched a suite of tools designed to help banks and other financial services firms build with blockchain in a compliant way. A formalization of its work with distributed ledgers, the Amsterdam-based accounting firm that last year generated $24bn revenue, in turn, has expanded its partnership with Microsoft to integrate with its blockchain-as-a-service toolkit.

Smart Houses Change the Face of the Real Estate Industry
CPA Practice Advisor
Today’s homebuyers are not just looking for solar panels and quartz countertops. They are also looking for homes that are “smart,” residences that can be controlled wirelessly from almost anywhere and that are almost futuristic in their capabilities. “Smart houses put regular houses to shame,” says Karl Volkman, CTO of SRV Network, Inc. “Imagine homes that can be controlled with nothing more than your voice or a swipe of your smartphone. Whether you want to remotely open a baby gate, change the music on your speakers, switch on the fireplace, or dim the lighting, everything is at your fingertips with a smart home.”

Small businesses seek delay of overtime rule
USA Today
The nation’s leading small business trade group on Tuesday asked the Labor Department to delay a new rule making millions of Americans eligible for overtime pay, saying employers aren’t prepared to implement it when it goes into effect Dec. 1. “In many cases, small businesses must reorganize their work forces and implement new systems for tracking hours, record keeping, and reporting,” says NFIB president Juanita Duggan.

CFA Institute Study Points to Way Forward for Women in Finance
Business Wire
CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, has completed the largest survey of investment management professionals on the subject of gender diversity to date. The study finds that while women continue to make progress within the industry, much more needs to be done to ease the global bottleneck that is preventing their full and equitable advancement within the profession. In the report, Gender Diversity in Investment Management, CFA Institute found that while women continue to be underrepresented at every level and in every function of investment management this disparity could be addressed by focusing on three key areas.

IRS Priorities Questioned for Tax Collection Cases
Accounting Today
The Internal Revenue Service’s priorities when deciding which tax debt cases to pursue in person through its field collection agents are not altogether clear to its own employees, according to a new report. The report, from the Government Accountability Office, found the IRS needs to do a better job of defining the objectives and case selection process for its tax debt collection program in the field. The IRS uses automated processes to prioritize which tax debt cases it will potentially choose for in-person contact, but group managers in the agency’s field collection program manually select the actual cases to assign to revenue officers.

U.S. Stocks Steady After Bout of Volatility
Nasdaq
Stocks and bonds steadied Wednesday after three sessions of swings. Major U.S. indexes pulled back in afternoon trading, but the moves were small compared with the past few days. Markets turned choppy late last week, with both stocks and long-dated government debt dropping on uncertainty over global central-bank policy. The S&P 500 fell 2.5% Friday, rose 1.5% Monday and fell 1.5% Tuesday.

Average Cost of Employer Health Coverage Tops $18,000 for Family in 2016
Wall Street Journal
The average cost of health coverage offered by employers pushed above $18,000 for a family plan this year, though the growth was slowed by the accelerating shift into high-deductible plans, according to a major survey. Annual premium cost rose 3% to $18,142 for an employer family plan in 2016, from $17,545 last year, according to the annual poll of employers performed by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation along with the Health Research & Educational Trust, a nonprofit affiliated with the American Hospital Association.

Accounting and Financial News Stories


Expert: IRS Audits Disproportionately Target Small Businesses

The Washington Free Beacon

The IRS disproportionately targets small companies for audits, burdening them with extra costs and stealing time that they need to do business, according to an expert who testified at a Small Business Committee hearing Wednesday. Donald Williamson, executive director of the Kogod Tax Policy Center at American University, says the IRS does this because small businesses receive most of their income in cash, which can be difficult to identify and report.

 

Impeachment Vote on IRS Head Delayed by Deal to Hold Hearing

Bloomberg Politics

Conservative Republicans backed off their demands for an immediate vote on impeaching Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen after U.S. House leaders promised to hold a Judiciary Committee hearing. The sponsors of the resolution, Representative John Fleming of Louisiana and other members of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, said they abandoned their plan to force a vote on Thursday.

 

IRS Relents on Double Mortgage Interest Deduction for Unmarried Couples

AccountingWEB

Married homeowners will gripe and unmarried ones will gloat, but the IRS is going along with an appellate court ruling that allowed two unmarried co-owners who live together to each deduct the mortgage interest on $1.1 million of acquisition and home equity debt – double what married homeowners can deduct.  In Sophy v. Commissioner, the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that the home mortgage interest limitation applies per each taxpayer, not per residence.

 

Same Sex Marriage Defined by IRS

The National Law Review

Just before Labor Day weekend, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final regulations amending the definitions of “marriage” and “husband and wife” in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which legalized same-sex marriage, and the Windsor v. U.S. decision, which struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The proposed regulations, issued in October 2015, were followed by several comments and a request for a public hearing.

 

IRS Allows Self-Certification For Waiver of 60-Day Rollover Requirement

JD Supra Business Advisor

On August 24th, the IRS released guidance that permits an automatic waiver of the sixty-day rollover period for retirement plan distributions by allowing individuals to self-certify that they qualify for the waiver under any of 11 common circumstances. The guidance also contains a model waiver template. Retirement plan administrators and IRA trustees can rely on an individual’s certification unless the plan administrator/IRA trustee has actual knowledge that is contrary to the self-certification.

 

'Big Four' Firm KPMG Talks New Blockchain Services Suite

CoinDesk

Global accounting firm KPMG yesterday launched a suite of tools designed to help banks and other financial services firms build with blockchain in a compliant way. A formalization of its work with distributed ledgers, the Amsterdam-based accounting firm that last year generated $24bn revenue, in turn, has expanded its partnership with Microsoft to integrate with its blockchain-as-a-service toolkit.

 

Smart Houses Change the Face of the Real Estate Industry

CPA Practice Advisor

Today’s homebuyers are not just looking for solar panels and quartz countertops. They are also looking for homes that are “smart,” residences that can be controlled wirelessly from almost anywhere and that are almost futuristic in their capabilities. “Smart houses put regular houses to shame,” says Karl Volkman, CTO of SRV Network, Inc. “Imagine homes that can be controlled with nothing more than your voice or a swipe of your smartphone. Whether you want to remotely open a baby gate, change the music on your speakers, switch on the fireplace, or dim the lighting, everything is at your fingertips with a smart home.”

 

Small businesses seek delay of overtime rule

USA Today

The nation’s leading small business trade group on Tuesday asked the Labor Department to delay a new rule making millions of Americans eligible for overtime pay, saying employers aren’t prepared to implement it when it goes into effect Dec. 1. “In many cases, small businesses must reorganize their work forces and implement new systems for tracking hours, record keeping, and reporting,” says NFIB president Juanita Duggan.

 

CFA Institute Study Points to Way Forward for Women in Finance

Business Wire

CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, has completed the largest survey of investment management professionals on the subject of gender diversity to date. The study finds that while women continue to make progress within the industry, much more needs to be done to ease the global bottleneck that is preventing their full and equitable advancement within the profession. In the report, Gender Diversity in Investment Management, CFA Institute found that while women continue to be underrepresented at every level and in every function of investment management this disparity could be addressed by focusing on three key areas.

 

IRS Priorities Questioned for Tax Collection Cases

Accounting Today

The Internal Revenue Service’s priorities when deciding which tax debt cases to pursue in person through its field collection agents are not altogether clear to its own employees, according to a new report. The report, from the Government Accountability Office, found the IRS needs to do a better job of defining the objectives and case selection process for its tax debt collection program in the field. The IRS uses automated processes to prioritize which tax debt cases it will potentially choose for in-person contact, but group managers in the agency’s field collection program manually select the actual cases to assign to revenue officers.

 

U.S. Stocks Steady After Bout of Volatility

Nasdaq

Stocks and bonds steadied Wednesday after three sessions of swings. Major U.S. indexes pulled back in afternoon trading, but the moves were small compared with the past few days. Markets turned choppy late last week, with both stocks and long-dated government debt dropping on uncertainty over global central-bank policy. The S&P 500 fell 2.5% Friday, rose 1.5% Monday and fell 1.5% Tuesday.

 

Average Cost of Employer Health Coverage Tops $18,000 for Family in 2016

Wall Street Journal

The average cost of health coverage offered by employers pushed above $18,000 for a family plan this year, though the growth was slowed by the accelerating shift into high-deductible plans, according to a major survey. Annual premium cost rose 3% to $18,142 for an employer family plan in 2016, from $17,545 last year, according to the annual poll of employers performed by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation along with the Health Research & Educational Trust, a nonprofit affiliated with the American Hospital Association.

Accounting and Financial News Stories


Expert: IRS Audits Disproportionately Target Small Businesses

The Washington Free Beacon

The IRS disproportionately targets small companies for audits, burdening them with extra costs and stealing time that they need to do business, according to an expert who testified at a Small Business Committee hearing Wednesday. Donald Williamson, executive director of the Kogod Tax Policy Center at American University, says the IRS does this because small businesses receive most of their income in cash, which can be difficult to identify and report.

 

Impeachment Vote on IRS Head Delayed by Deal to Hold Hearing

Bloomberg Politics

Conservative Republicans backed off their demands for an immediate vote on impeaching Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen after U.S. House leaders promised to hold a Judiciary Committee hearing. The sponsors of the resolution, Representative John Fleming of Louisiana and other members of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, said they abandoned their plan to force a vote on Thursday.

 

IRS Relents on Double Mortgage Interest Deduction for Unmarried Couples

AccountingWEB

Married homeowners will gripe and unmarried ones will gloat, but the IRS is going along with an appellate court ruling that allowed two unmarried co-owners who live together to each deduct the mortgage interest on $1.1 million of acquisition and home equity debt – double what married homeowners can deduct.  In Sophy v. Commissioner, the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that the home mortgage interest limitation applies per each taxpayer, not per residence.

 

Same Sex Marriage Defined by IRS

The National Law Review

Just before Labor Day weekend, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final regulations amending the definitions of “marriage” and “husband and wife” in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which legalized same-sex marriage, and the Windsor v. U.S. decision, which struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The proposed regulations, issued in October 2015, were followed by several comments and a request for a public hearing.

 

IRS Allows Self-Certification For Waiver of 60-Day Rollover Requirement

JD Supra Business Advisor

On August 24th, the IRS released guidance that permits an automatic waiver of the sixty-day rollover period for retirement plan distributions by allowing individuals to self-certify that they qualify for the waiver under any of 11 common circumstances. The guidance also contains a model waiver template. Retirement plan administrators and IRA trustees can rely on an individual’s certification unless the plan administrator/IRA trustee has actual knowledge that is contrary to the self-certification.

 

'Big Four' Firm KPMG Talks New Blockchain Services Suite

CoinDesk

Global accounting firm KPMG yesterday launched a suite of tools designed to help banks and other financial services firms build with blockchain in a compliant way. A formalization of its work with distributed ledgers, the Amsterdam-based accounting firm that last year generated $24bn revenue, in turn, has expanded its partnership with Microsoft to integrate with its blockchain-as-a-service toolkit.

 

Smart Houses Change the Face of the Real Estate Industry

CPA Practice Advisor

Today’s homebuyers are not just looking for solar panels and quartz countertops. They are also looking for homes that are “smart,” residences that can be controlled wirelessly from almost anywhere and that are almost futuristic in their capabilities. “Smart houses put regular houses to shame,” says Karl Volkman, CTO of SRV Network, Inc. “Imagine homes that can be controlled with nothing more than your voice or a swipe of your smartphone. Whether you want to remotely open a baby gate, change the music on your speakers, switch on the fireplace, or dim the lighting, everything is at your fingertips with a smart home.”

 

Small businesses seek delay of overtime rule

USA Today

The nation’s leading small business trade group on Tuesday asked the Labor Department to delay a new rule making millions of Americans eligible for overtime pay, saying employers aren’t prepared to implement it when it goes into effect Dec. 1. “In many cases, small businesses must reorganize their work forces and implement new systems for tracking hours, record keeping, and reporting,” says NFIB president Juanita Duggan.

 

CFA Institute Study Points to Way Forward for Women in Finance

Business Wire

CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, has completed the largest survey of investment management professionals on the subject of gender diversity to date. The study finds that while women continue to make progress within the industry, much more needs to be done to ease the global bottleneck that is preventing their full and equitable advancement within the profession. In the report, Gender Diversity in Investment Management, CFA Institute found that while women continue to be underrepresented at every level and in every function of investment management this disparity could be addressed by focusing on three key areas.

 

IRS Priorities Questioned for Tax Collection Cases

Accounting Today

The Internal Revenue Service’s priorities when deciding which tax debt cases to pursue in person through its field collection agents are not altogether clear to its own employees, according to a new report. The report, from the Government Accountability Office, found the IRS needs to do a better job of defining the objectives and case selection process for its tax debt collection program in the field. The IRS uses automated processes to prioritize which tax debt cases it will potentially choose for in-person contact, but group managers in the agency’s field collection program manually select the actual cases to assign to revenue officers.

 

U.S. Stocks Steady After Bout of Volatility

Nasdaq

Stocks and bonds steadied Wednesday after three sessions of swings. Major U.S. indexes pulled back in afternoon trading, but the moves were small compared with the past few days. Markets turned choppy late last week, with both stocks and long-dated government debt dropping on uncertainty over global central-bank policy. The S&P 500 fell 2.5% Friday, rose 1.5% Monday and fell 1.5% Tuesday.

 

Average Cost of Employer Health Coverage Tops $18,000 for Family in 2016

Wall Street Journal

The average cost of health coverage offered by employers pushed above $18,000 for a family plan this year, though the growth was slowed by the accelerating shift into high-deductible plans, according to a major survey. Annual premium cost rose 3% to $18,142 for an employer family plan in 2016, from $17,545 last year, according to the annual poll of employers performed by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation along with the Health Research & Educational Trust, a nonprofit affiliated with the American Hospital Association.

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